Workshop aimed at event organisers

Knowledge is power . . . Waitaki Events Advisory Board chairwoman Jan Kennedy is encouraging event organisers to register for a virtual workshop to learn how to submit successful funding applications. PHOTO: ASHLEY SMYTH

Event organisers in the Waitaki district should make the most of an upcoming opportunity to learn how to submit successful funding applications, Waitaki Events Advisory Board chairwoman Jan Kennedy says.

Ahead of the opening of the second round of the Waitaki regional events fund in October, the Waitaki Events Advisory Board has organised a virtual workshop for prospective applicants.

The workshop, to be held on August 17 from 10am to 4pm, would cover all aspects required to submit a successful application to the fund, Mrs Kennedy said.

Speakers include event promotor Arthur Klap, Dunedin event marketer Amanda Dire, Oamaru accountant and sports advocate Adair Craik and Tourism Industry Aotearoa sustainability manager Megan Williams. Their presentations will cover preparing a successful marketing plan, producing comprehensive event budgets and financial plans, and tips on how to improve the environmental impact and carbon footprint of events.

‘‘We are aiming to provide event operators with beneficial knowledge to ensure submissions to the fund are both complete and to the standard required to access this Government fund,’’ Mrs Kennedy said.

‘‘We really want to get the funds out the door and see events grow across the region.’’

The Waitaki regional events fund was established as part of the Government’s $50 million regional events fund, to stimulate domestic tourism and travel between regions through holding events. Tourism Waitaki received $183,000, and the first round of the fund opened in October 2021.

The board received five applications — one was successful, three were withdrawn and one was declined due to a lack of information, Mrs Kennedy said.

Everyone was given opportunities to resubmit — ‘‘we wanted everyone to be successful, because we acknowledge that all the events were amazing’’ — but the applications revealed a need for event organisers to learn more about putting together good budgets and marketing plans to run successful and sustainable events, she said.

Mrs Kennedy believed next month’s workshop was a ‘‘really, really positive way’’ to help event organisers. It would not only help them prepare an application for the Waitaki regional events fund, but to be successful with applications for other available funds.

The Waitaki fund is open to organisers of existing or new events in the district. One of the key aspects was that the event had a marketing plan which focused on attracting visitors from outside of the region and encouraging a longer stay in the district, Mrs Kennedy said.

The board was ‘‘quietly confident’’ the fund would encourage new events in the district, and the timing of the second round of funding was ‘‘really good’’ to revitalise some of the district’s regular events after a challenging couple of years, she said.

‘‘We’ve got our really amazing iconic events [and] we are so keen for them to put the work in to apply for money and make [their events] sustainable for the future and to grow for the future.’’

Over the coming weeks, Mrs Kennedy will be engaging with event organisers in the district to encourage them to attend the workshop, and to find out how preparations are going for their respective events.

Event organisers are encouraged to RSVP to the workshop by emailing [email protected] before August 8. They are also welcome to submit their draft marketing plans to events adviser Tammy Jackman, at [email protected], before the event for feedback.

More information about the regional events fund is available online at